It’s been almost eight years since New York thrash gods Anthrax released For All Kings in 2016. As it turns out, fans who have waited patiently for new music just might be rewarded sooner rather than later. According to axeman Scott Ian, the band have been chipping away at recording their long-awaited twelfth studio album for a few months now.
In a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, the host asked the guitarist how far long along Anthrax are in tracking the new record, to which Scott Ian said (via Blabbermouth):
“Not far. But we had a session here in L.A. Charlie [Benante, Anthrax drummer], Frankie [Bello, Anthrax bassist] and I tracked nine songs. I finished the guitars on those right before we went to New York, so I don’t know — sometime end of June; something like that. Frankie is currently in L.A. tracking bass on those nine songs. I’m going to the studio Friday… Since I’ve had time, like a month, to live with my guitar tracks, I’ve heard like lots of things that I think are very cool to kind of add. So I’m going in on Friday and spending a day doing some overdubs. [Jonathan] Donais [Anthrax guitarist] is already working on solos back east at his home studio. And I am working on lyrics. So I think we’re well into it, let’s put it that way. There’s gonna be another recording session October, maybe November. Charlie’s got these two windows to get in, ’cause we have another four or five [songs] we want to track. We’re hoping, if things just stay on the very loose schedule we have, I’d like to think by Christmas, New Year’s, we’ll have most of this wrapped up. Maybe not mixed, but certainly all recorded by then. My goal is to have three songs ready for [Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna] to start on next month. Joey, it doesn’t take him very long. Once he kind of wraps his head around it and kind of runs it through his filter, he’s a fast worker. So once he starts, it doesn’t take long. It’s more, I think, the onus on me of being happy with the lyrics I’m writing. ‘Cause I actually had, like, three or four songs written months ago, and then I revisited them like a month ago and I threw ’em all in the garbage; I was, like, ‘This is crap.’ But I’m in a much better place with that now.”
As far as the album’s musical direction, he explained:
“Certainly of the nine [songs] we’ve tracked so far, and, of course, the rough kind of demos we have of some of the stuff we haven’t tracked with drums yet, from a riff point of view, it’s definitely — I mean it’s riffs with all capital letters. Like if you were going to write, you would write ‘riffs’ in all capitals with an exclamation point. The riffs are killer. It’s very riff-centric. There’s a lot of faster uptempo material, certainly. I will say there is a song — I won’t say any titles yet, ’cause it’s still probably a working title — there’s definitely one song, it’s the fastest thing we’ve ever done. There’s another song that we haven’t recorded yet that’s also in the vein, more of a ‘Gung-Ho‘ or a ‘Caught In A Mosh‘. Because Charlie and I talk all the time. I said, ‘We still need something that’s like a three-and-a-half-minute just ripper. You know, something like that.’ And then we come up with something like that and I’m, like, ‘Hey, I forgot I’m 60 now, and now I have to play this song for the next three years.’ Just make my life harder.”
This upcoming record will be the third Anthrax album in a row to feature their iconic vocalist Joey Belladonna, who was on hiatus from the band between 1992 to 2005 and again from 2007 to 2010. He has since appeared on two more albums with the New York thrash institution, 2011’s Worship Music and For All Kings.